4d project planning and health & safety management
4D Project Planning and H&S Management A. Ciribini & G. Galimberti Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile, Università degli Studi di Brescia, Italy ABSTRACT: A The European Client Organisations must face huge responsibilities by 92/57/EC Directive when the Health and Safety Management System has to be built in. Moreover, Public Client Organisations are trying, in different ways, to cope with such duties in modifying their Project Execution Plans over time so to update project schedules and reports complying with H&S Plan-related measures. The researchers have per- formed a detailed analysis which should allow Project Sponsors and Project Managers to deal with Time Management following a safety-oriented approach. 1 INTRODUCTION Indeed, they did not realise that 3D models could support a better H&S Planning practice. The largest amount of available CAD techniques 1.1 Type area (80%) involve a 3D model to be prepared, whilst a The EC Directive 92/57 (concerning H&S Manage- Design Team could gain a huge profit in detecting ment on Construction Sites) has been enforced in It- conflicts. aly in 1996. Spatial Planning had to be undertaken by Client’sConstruction Informatics Digital Library http://itc.scix.net The Directive, due to come in force in 1992, and Designers, during the pre-tender construction phase, postponed several times, was vainly expected to through an agreement with Client’s H&S Consult- cause a huge impact from a legal point of view, de- ants, waiting for the contribution of the Building spite all the serious attempts and efforts made by Contractor. H&S Specialists in changing their own attitudes. Likewise, General Contractors and Specialist However, new practices have been introduced Package Contractors should not be left with the main during the design and construction stages: appointed executive powers about H&S Management. by Client Organisations, H&S Coordinators sud- Otherwise, they could act as the ultimate owners of denly became driving players within the building the decision-making process concerning the con- and construction processes. struction site-related occurrences, whilst being not Project Planning and Control-related tools were allowed to negotiate prior to tendering. reckoned apt to improve the H&S performances on Unfortunately, a few Contractors are used to ap- construction sites. ply the 4D CAD techniques or the Spatial Planning- When appointing a H&S Coordinator, the Client oriented tools, too. believed to be allowed to transfer him the risks to be On the other hand, any late delivery caused by born. poor suppliers could barely trouble the whole and The H&S Managers and Coordinators, unfortu- rigid Project Schedule: the H&S Planning System is nately, are often forced to waffle on about the legal to be improved from such a viewpoint, too. meaning of the Directive’s words rather than solve Therefore, 4D Planners could visualize the sequenc- bad real practices. ing of the work packages to be performed (and the Moreover, following the new approach, H&S components to be built or cast) whilst Spatial Ana- Coordinators were trying to look at Spatial Factors which could affect the behaviours of the crews and lysts will optimise the space use on site. equipments on site. The widespread of the subcontracting (reaching Unfortunately, a 3D-based design approach was three or four tiers) is troubling a manageable proc- needed, but designers usually prefer 2D CAD mod- ess. els in a scantly consistent way.
The parcelling out of the decision-making points It must be better to make efforts to avoid this con- causes a fragmented way of doing on site. flicting conditions through a timely analysis of the Because of changing working conditions on site, forecast locations of the crews and equipments. Client Organisations should be careful in devising the Breakdown Structures (PBS, WBS, OBS, ABS, RBS, CBS) during the design stages, waiting for a 2 4D PROJECT PLANNING AND H&S further investigation to be provided by the Contrac- MANAGEMENT tor prior to the commencement of the works. One major difficulty is to be found in structuring The H&S Management has widely to deal with the sub-contracted work packages following a stated working areas and space conflicts, trying to realise approach, as well as in the United States-widespread crew workflow directions, space requirements, and CSI classification system. spatial buffers between activities (the so-called The Main Contractors are seldom able to find a safety lags). viable sequence of starting as far as Subcontractors The H&S Coordination lies, above all, in realis- are asked to perform their tasks from the spatial ing physical flows on construction sites over months point of view. and years. Otherwise, OBS, ABS, and WBS should be Sequences of crews (workflows and production timely structured by H&S Coordinators so to be later rates) could be optimised from the point of view af- verified and modified by Contractors and Subcon- fected by work locations. tractors. The H&S Planning should not neglect the space When taking into account such a purpose, the occupation rates: it happens that available and deliv- 2006 Winter Olympic Games Agency (a large ered resources could not be used due to an interfer- Awarding Organisation) prepared a set of guidelines ence. (concerning such topics and matters) to be closely Shortages of space availability are often causing followed by designers. hazards or increase the risk levels, as well as plan- Such an approach encompassed spatial locations, ning and construction phases are quite often sepa- physical components, schedules of rate, and activi- rated. ties. Moreover, the concurrent configuration of many Nonetheless, that is sometimes easier said than tasks will increase the meaning of critical space. done: also the Design Teams are seldom able to real- Building Contractors are more and more seeking ise the consistent sequencing of the activities to be at reducing the time span through a huge compres- included into the schedules. sion of the task duration.Construction Informatics Digital Library http://itc.scix.net It is important to consider contractual conditions In so doing, working areas become overloaded because many activities are to be performed by dif- and overwhelming activities could engender hazards ferent Contractors, following different payment cri- and casualties. 4D models seem very useful in realis- teria. ing and avoid the overlaps. Coping with unreliable and unfinished schedules, Whenever criticalities are dealing with spatial con- Contractors are neglecting their duties: in other straints rather than time management, 4D Project words, master plan schedules and look-ahead plans Planning and its dedicated tools seem to be very use- are often meaningless. ful. Eventually, the Pre-Tender H&S Plan issued by Spatial constraints (due to overcrowding and re- the H&S Coordinator sounds to be not consistent stricted accesses) have to be considered also when with the Construction H&S Plans provided by Con- looked to Procurement Planning. tractors and Subcontractors. The Spatial Planning should be linked with the Indeed, walkways, plant/equipment routes, procure- productivity rates, so to balance working areas and ment paths, storage areas and space requirements are physical advancements on site. the main factors to identify criticalities. The traditional CPM method does not consider While some methodologies, as Last Planner and the effects of overcrowding: crews involved in non Critical Chain Scheduling, seek at manage activities critical tasks might impair the completion of other to be started following short-term review of the allo- critical activities. cated resources and the use of shielding tasks, the Within a Dynamic Spatial Planning-oriented spatial loading has to be looked at with special care. framework the space, conceived as a driving re- Likewise, a bad resource usage could engender haz- source, mitigate the risks concerning the productiv- ards and casualties because of space conflicts and ity’s loss. overloads. H&S Coordinators and Managers have to re- Resources need space to be stored and to be handled, member that reducing a task durations does mean to but, unfortunately, such a space-demand is often un- cause overlapping activities and overloaded working spaces.
derestimated as scheduled activities are linked each 4 4D PROJECT PLANNING other following the CPM time-oriented constraints. Delivered supplies could really affect the viability of The traditional and widespread software packages the project schedule, when Contractors and Subcon- are only able to allow Project Planners to look tractors are bearing the transferred risks. mainly at the resource curves and profiles, without Indeed, the authors were focused upon space (and spatial constraints. safety lags) as driving resource to prepare and fill a Moreover, even if it could be possible to deal with H&S Plan. space availability as a standard resource, H&S Co- When trying to reduce the original risks (leaving ordinators and Project Planners themselves prefer to only the residual ones), H&S Coordinators (Plan- avoid to do it in a selfish way of thinking. ning Supervisors and Principal Contractors) evaluate The Authors have listed a set of stages to be spatial parameters to ascertain the sustainable complied with when considering Project Scheduling thresholds. and H&S Planning: They have to define the restricted areas and regulate 1 Analysis of working areas and paths; 2 Allocation of the working areas and the shared resources, considering a dynamic layout plant/equipment to the listed activities; planning of the construction site. 3 Allocation of storage areas to the needed re- Critical Space Analysis will be conceived in a tied sources; way with the time sequencing of the scheduled ac- 4 Control of the potential space overloads; tivities. Genetic algorithms and stochastic search 5 Review of the Project Schedule and the resource techniques have been employed to find the best re- profiles; source distribution profiles, taking into account the 6 Introduction of the safety lags (between activi- potential space conflicts. ties); Equipment Performance simulators have been pro- 7 Review of the driving resources; posed, too. 8 Analysis of the site layout to be designed; A recently proposed multi-constraint scheduling 9 Linking of the H&S measures and specifications (concerning with space, contract, resource, and in- to the working areas and 3D objects (parts to be formation) tool could help to solve a lot of problems built and site equipments); 10 Site induction through the reviewed 4D models; from the H&S Coordinator’s point of view. 11 Management of the H&S site meetings through the 4D models; 12 Update of Project Scheduling and H&S PlanningConstruction Informatics Digital Library http://itc.scix.net 3 4D MODELS through the 4D models. It is a very hard task to define a close logic of the When tendering on a competitive base, Building construction schedule because of a large amount of Contracting Firms are often preparing their bids in a unknown variables. It has been acknowledged that a short time, because of the legal rules, providing un- set scope of works to achieve should require a com- reliable bids. prehensive realization of resource assignments. Moreover, the lump sum contracts could cut dra- Above all, spatial implications affecting the storage matically margins of gain, urging the Contractor to recover such edges, in spite of their Subcontractors. and handling systems could become very critical. Such Subcontractors will be scarcely involved in Moreover, a shortage of working areas often affect the Project Planning and H&S Management . the sequencing of the tasks to be performed. A tender to be awarded on a lump sum criterion Therefore, a dynamic approach to the site layout and implies a detailed design. to the scheduling should be consistent with the rout- The amount of the contract price to be spent in ing of materials and gangers. H&S measures will be sacrificed, too. Considering constraints coming from the site sur- In Italy the H&S Coordinator has to fill the com- veys should provide the Planner with the ability to pletion certificates only after the assessment of the highlight the correct sequencing of the activities to H&S-related costs committed by Contractors. be performed. During the tender stage, planners are often bored The main difficulties lie with the change manage- by temporary works, which need an accurate estima- ment that is affecting the refurbishment works. tion. Moreover, such works could be performed on differ- Although H&S Coordinators seek at stimulate the best practices in the H&S Management, they are not ent floors during the same lapse of time. succeeding in changing the usual way of thinking of the self employers, gangers and foremen.
The authors applied 4D CAD Techniques to The toughest effort to be made will be handling Pro- building and construction projects, from the parking ject Schedules and H&S Schedules so to increase the building to the hydraulic infrastructures. awareness of the gangers and the crews. The construction of a set of check dams in a The induction of newcomers on site is more power- mountain river proves that the morphology of the ful and learning curves seem to be crucial. landscape could affect the availability of working Several choices could loom during the site meetings areas. (when discussing and debating about time changes) It was featured by heavy slopes and restrictions in accessing, so that spatial constraints could not have and the outcome will spread on site. been taken into account with traditional scheduling An oddity could happen: the most important factor, methods. the spatial availability and usage, is neglected, al- though the safety-related results are set to become more and more required by the Large Client Organi- 5 4D PROJECT CONTROL sations. Everything else will pale compared with the dif- 4D models, prepared during the pre-construction ficulty of reduce and mitigate H&S-oriented risks. stage, could be used in monitoring and controlling performed works. Planners and H&S Coordinators should analyse and 6 CONCLUSIONS make comparisons amongst the original schedule H&S Planners and Coordinators need to deal with and the updated ones. spatial constraints and resource usage. When a delay occurs, it is easy to find missing ob- These topics are hardly debated in the Client Or- jects, which are showing dropping productivity rates ganisations and Contractors. or others events. And even if they were, it is unlikely that H&S Planners at every opportunity do not risk to be noted Coordinators and Managers would be able to change for consistency: frequent changes always pose a the figures concerning hazards and casualties with- problem and weaken the dependability of the H&S out effective criteria and tools. Plan. In Italy, spending on H&S-focused Project It is generally assumed that project schedules, as Scheduling is low compared with a British average. have been known for several years, cannot possess a There are many reasons for this, from low reve- power that practical experiences struggle to match. nues to unskilled Planners.Construction Informatics Digital Library http://itc.scix.net As the Planners and H&S Coordinators undertake The large Building Contractors are only required the hazardous task of owning a proactive approach from their Clients to provide a detailed schedule in- to unforeseen events, the focus will remain on realis- cluding chiefly tasks to be performed. Clients are neglecting the procurement issues and ing dynamic flows and physical conflicts due to the resources to be allocated. changed relationships or risky overlaps. They reckon that any uncertainty will affect the Despite complaints from many H&S Coordinators, original schedule or believe that too many accidents there is unfortunately little likelihood of a major ad- will trouble the forecast CPM-related Plan to envis- justment in the behaviours of Contractors and Sub- age a proactive way. contractors. Moreover, 4D Models will compel Clients and When works are progressing and closely monitored, Contractors to act as partners instead of counter- 4D Project Planning is promising to bring a new parts, in a cooperative contractual framework. style in searching for a safe trade off between the Unfortunately, Clients and Contractors are used needs of H&S Coordinators and Contractor’s Repre- to think in an adversarial manner, so they prefer to sentatives. stay with the rooted behaviours. If works are behind of schedule, the collision about Following such an approach, H&S Coordinators between H&S Coordinators and Site Managers are forced to look at single Work Package to be per- formed over the time, lacking of the awareness of could be bruising for the fulfilment of the contract to spatial conflicts amongst the Subcontractors and be signed. 4D Project Planning provide the possibil- badly assessing the potential hazards due to the sup- ity to analyse and visualize different ways to amend plies’ shortage, handling and storage. the original schedules. The H&S Managers belonging to Contractors and Otherwise, the full reliability of the updated H&S Subcontractors try to hide what they feel as boring. Plan will remain a distant goal. Nonetheless, 4D Techniques deserve credit and The fist task will be to avoid superseded documents attention to be paid. and schedules to be available on site.
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